Civic Futures Awards

Engaging the youngest members of our adult criminal justice system

Travis County Criminal Justice

Project Engage, County Court

The problem

Recidivism and permanent loss of opportunity for the youngest members of our adult criminal justice system (and our community) when a teen is convicted, revoked, or receives jail time in a non violent case.

Solution / Approach

Provide teenage criminal non-violent offenders the opportunity to avoid jail and a permanent conviction, through a sentence that offers as much support as it does punishment; requiring every defendant to engage in our community, do 100 hours of service, set out personal goals, and be working or in school.

Core team
  • Judge Brandy Mueller
  • Julie Vasques-Martinez
  • Jose Becerra
  • Suzanne Heard
  • Dennis Clark
  • Marsha Morgenroth
Key advisors
  • Rudy Perez
  • Debra Hale
  • Kendra Scott
  • Roy Spence, GSD&M
  • Mathew McConaughey & Just Keep Livin’ Foundation
  • Guy Forsyth, Musician
What can make it sustainable?

The continued generosity of our community, Non-profits who offer service and leadership projects to our teen defendants, speakers who come to our court, at monthly settings, to teach and inspire.

Advice to others

Trust in the generosity of people in our community and the desire so many have to give young people a second chance. Don't be afraid to think creatively in a job that might not outwardly call for it.